Saturday, 29 October 2011

The last Keeper for the Day of 2011- Moira Lee

Today was the last booking that we have had for our unique ‘ Keeper for the Day’ experience of 2011. After visiting the Park over the last 40 years of opening, Moira lee was treated by partner George to become a ‘Keeper for the Day’.

Moira spends much of her time feeding all the wild birds that flock into her garden and therefore fancied a turn at feeding and caring for some more exotic species that we home here at the Park….


Judging by Moira’s gentle nature with all the animals, it’s clear to see where all our free flying Ducks and Geese will be heading this winter!


Danielle penguin encounter

Hi Jules.

Many thanks for the photos!  It was great to meet you too and we both felt privileged to be your first ‘ Penguin Encounter’ guests.  On a personal note, I’d just like to thank you specifically and the other keeper (many apologies for forgetting her name?) You were so friendly from the start with our phone call, through to the day itself.  We couldn’t believe how much time we got to spend with the penguins and you were great with answering all our questions.  Getting to name a penguin was totally unexpected and such a lovely surprise!  Maybe you should introduce that at a cost, in order to bring some extra money into your Park?  I remember Dippy, Humphrey, Pippa etc.. but for the other ones of the 31 that are not named?  Although, I think you do an adopt-a-penguin scheme already and this may interfere with that etc…

We’d both love to monitor the progress of Danielle.  She was very sweet and friendly and I loved it she took a shine to me.  It was so cute when she kept standing on my feet and following me around!  Please let me know if she needs anything and I will send on a little bit of money to help.  We loved them all really and so funny how they all have different personalities and I didn’t mind when they bit us a bit!  I have just seen the blog link on facebook and will be sure to write some feedback on there asap.

We will definitely return in the spring.  My Mum is a huge fan of Meerkats (& penguins incidentally!) so I know what I can do the Meerkat Encounter you mention next for her.  She’s rather unwell at the moment but hopefully will be back to 100% by then and I can surprise her as a good reason for a day out again! 

I’ll definitely be passing on info to friends and family.  Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get people aware etc.. and have already sent on the link to the blog to people as well as lots of texts last night saying what a great day it was.  As your Park is not as big as some of the larger national and more corporate Zoos and Parks, we really appreciated the personal touch.  The other penguin encounters etc… were in London or further away, so it was great to keep things slightly more local and support your ‘hidden gem’.  Please do not be shy to let us know if there is any other way we can help you guys out, as you were so good to us….

Thanks again SO much and just to let you know Danielle said last night it was one, if not the, best day of her life.  I kept it a complete surprise until we got to the Park itself.

Stay in touch, warmest regards,



Friday, 28 October 2011

Junior Wildlife Experience- Kameron Taylor

Today Head Keeper Tara, had the pleasure of spending the morning with seven year old Kameron Taylor and mum Rosslyn. Kameron, who will turn eight in November, was treated to an early birthday present by Mum. Kameron loves all animals but was particularly thrilled to be able to spend time with the Penguins and Meerkats and even did something that he had never done before which was to touch and hold a Snake!

Although some of the animals mis-behaved and unfortunately gave Kameron a few nips and bruises to show off to his friends, he assured me that this was the “best time of his life” and would love to do it again next year…..


I wonder if the large slice of chocolate cake had anything to do with it ?!

Keeper for a day… or two- Holly Hinds

We were privileged to spend not one but two days with former ‘Keeper for a day’ Holly Hinds from Kent. Last year Holly joined the Keepers here at the Park for a day of feeding, cleaning and of course cuddling some of our well loved animals. It turns out that she loved the experience so much that her Gran booked her to do it all over again, TWICE!!

Jules captured some images of Holly on her first day of her experience when the weather was on our side……



Holly is very keen to work with animals when she leaves school, so the experience provided her with an insight as to what being an Animal Keeper is really like and how we all got here….

We wish Holly all the best in fulfilling her ambition and you never know we may even see her again next year!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Two friends enjoy Junior Wildlife Experience together!


Two young Island ladies shared their Junior Wildlife Experience with us yesterday!  Nancy Green(aged 10) and Thea Sandell (aged 9) (along with their Mums) spent the afternoon enjoying close-up time with a wide range of creatures including feeding the Ducks, Geese and Swans at the lower lake, spending time with and feeding the Wallabies, Miniature Pigs, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Meerkats, Reptiles (Snake and Bearded Dragon) and of course the Penguins (including Dippy!)  Despite the intermittent showers we had a great time altogether!  We’re looking forward to welcoming the girls and their families back to the Park again soon!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011



We are very pleased and proud to announce that due to huge public demand over the last few months, Seaview Wildlife will be offering Penguin Encounters, Meerkat Encounters (and the option of a combo Penguin & Meerkat Encounter) for 2012!!

As a one-off to mark the last week of our 2011 season, we agreed to one lucky couple experiencing the very first of the Penguin Encounters.  Yesterday, David Snell treated himself and his Penguin-enthusiast girlfriend, Danielle, to this hands-on wildlife experience.  They seemed to really love it!  Coming over from Bournemouth just for this experience, David was keen for the occasion to  be a memorable one for Danielle.  During the encounter Danielle was excited at being able to name one of our younger Penguins – now named Danielle! 

On leaving, both David and Danielle were bursting with enthusiasm and said they’d be telling their friends about the Park and would be back again in the Spring – possibly to embark on a “Wildest Date” with us!   We look forward to seeing you again David and Danielle – and in the meantime hope you’ll stay in contact via the Blog and via Dippy’s Facebook page (just enter Dippy Seaview in the search box).  Here are a few of photos of the Penguin encounter:


Amber Robins – Keeper for a Day


Amber from Reading, Berkshire, was a “Keeper for a Day” with us here at Seaview Wildlife on Monday.  Amber, aged 12, is hoping to pursue Animal/Zoo Keeping as her career and has plans to further her studies once she has left school.  Amber loved her interaction with the animals – and particularly enjoyed the gentle Wallabies!  We were able to give Amber a DVD packed full of images as memories of her day with us (I’ve included a few photos below)  Hope to see you again soon Amber!


Angelic Junior Wildlife Participants!


Madeline and Rosina Reed

We’ve had the pleasure of three young ladies joining us as “Junior Wildlife Experience” participants this week – on Monday it was the turn of sisters Madeline (9) and Rosina (6) from just outside Chichester.  The girls were here on holiday with Mum (Charlotte) and Grandma Wright who treated them to this wonderful wildlife experience.  This was the family’s first visit to Seaview Wildlife – they saw the Junior Wildlife Experience on our website and decided it would be just what both Madeline and Rosina would enjoy – and it seemed they weren’t disappointed – both girls said that they loved their day and the close interaction with the animals.  They went off with a complimentary DVD of over 120 images of their animal encounters – and hopefully a lifetime of memories in their hearts.  We hope the family will be back again next year!  I’ve included a few images below: 

Brooke Fleming

Yesterday six year old Brooke (who is just like a little Angel) was treated to a Junior Wildlife Experience by her Nan – Sue.  The family have been regular visitors to the Park over many years and Sue is a seasonal member of staff with us.  Joined by Mum, Tammy we had a lovely time during Brooke’s animal encounters; an absolute natural with the animals, Brooke is calm, gentle and quietly confident – instilling confidence and positive responses all round!  Although only six years old, Brooke already has plans to become ‘an underwater vet’ – she envisages getting a pilots license to allow her to fly into remote places to treat marine animals in out-of-the-way locations.  What a fantastic vision to have at such a young age – good luck to you Brooke – and we look forward to seeing lots more of you and your two equally lovely sisters in 2012 and the years ahead.  Here’s a sample of images:

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Keeper for a Day – Robert Usher

On Saturday just passed, Robert Usher was a Keeper for a Day with us here at the Park. Robert lives in Salisbury, Hampshire and attended Sparsholt College. He said he really enjoyed his day as a Keeper and had a particular soft spot for the Meerkats and Penguins. Animal Keeper Charlotte Goswell hosted Robert and took some great photos – I’ve selected a few to share with you (below) – just look at that cornflower blue sky! Hopefully Robert has taken memories with him that will last a lifetime ….

Monday, 24 October 2011

New Male Meerkat arrives at Seaview Wildlife!


Regular visitors to the Park will probably recall that, due to unrelated illnesses, we lost our two old male Meerkats some months ago.  That left us with our two feisty young females!  These two matriarchal mammas are proving to be particularly fussy about who they’ll accept as a male companion!  We’ve had a couple of rejections already – so the research and planning for our newest arrival has been extensive!

Cotswolds Wildlife Park have kindly donated a handsome young male who is temporarily residing in an ‘orientation enclosure’ within our main “Meerkat Madness” enclosure here at the Park.  The objective is for the three Meerkats to get to know one another – up close, but without the chance of a full-on scuffle!  So far the plan is going smoothly!  There’s been lots of positive contact through the wire mesh – gentle churring noises and soft touching of each other with their paws.  No signs of aggression.  Next week we’ll swap over the two females with the male so that he can have the run of the main enclosure and the girls will have his smaller area.  The intention is for him to orientate himself more fully by exploring and scent-marking the entire domain – before allowing the girls back for a full-on meeting with no holes barred!

Below are some images of the ‘orientation enclosure’ within the main Meerkat Madness enclosure just before the new male arrived as well as a couple of the new male’s arrival at his new home with us last week.  We’ll keep you posted with the progress!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Junior Wildlife Experience- Oliver Niemiec

The season is now coming to an end here at Seaview Wildlife Encounter, so now is the time to squeeze in last minute bookings for one of our Special Wildlife Experience Packages here at the Park before the end of October!

Twelve year old, Oliver Niemiec, certainly made the most of his birthday surprise when he was treated to a Junior Wildlife Experience by his Auntie Vanda last week.

Oliver was accompanied by Head Keeper Tara for the morning, allowing him the rare chance to get a little closer to some of his favourite animals including the Meerkats and Reptiles…..


As well as some of our other cheeky characters….


Oliver loved the experience so much that it looks like next year he may even join the Keepers for a whole day!

If you would like to treat someone special to a unique hands on experience with the all the animals here at the Park, please visit our website for further details…but be quick, you only have a week left to book for 2011!!!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Please show your support by signing this Petition - Save our Sharks


Shark Trust Logo Header

If you live in the UK please return the petition below to: The Shark Trust, Unit 4 Creykes Court, The Millfields, Plymouth PL1 3JB, UK Contact: 01752 672020 /

If you live outside the UK please return this petition to Irene Kingma, Hobbemakade 118-hs, 1071 XW Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


European Shark Week 15-23 October 2011

Dear Minister:

The EU has unfinished business for sharks. I urge you to ensure fulfilment of the commitments of the
EU Shark Action Plan, especially strengthening the ban on shark finning – the wasteful practice of
slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea.

More than two years after EU ministers endorsed the Action Plan, targeted shark fisheries continue
without limits, many endangered species remain unprotected, and the EU finning ban still has huge
loopholes that make it possible to fin sharks without detection or punishment. In particular, at-sea
removal of shark fins hinders enforcement and must be ended, without exception.

To safeguard these vulnerable animals, we need:
• A complete ban on removing shark fins at sea
• Shark and ray catch limits based on scientific advice and the precautionary approach
• EU and national protections for endangered shark and ray species.

Sharks play essential roles as top predators. EU policies affect sharks all over the world.
Your leadership is needed to protect sharks from overexploitation and finning.

Thank you,

Full name                             Date                          Signature                                Country of Residence

Important news on Shark Conservation

The EU has unFINished business for sharks

Shark Image Free Vector
Please help us make conservation commitments stick 


The gist
For five years, the Shark Alliance, European Union (EU) fisheries and environment officials, and
members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have been discussing the need to better protect
sharks. While safeguards to prevent shark overfishing are evolving gradually, the flawed EU
regulation that bans the wasteful practice of ‘finning’ (slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding
the body at sea) has yet to be amended. At long last, we are in the final stages of the crucial
finning debate, but your voice is needed - now more than ever - to ensure policy makers resist
industry pressure and protect sharks, once and for all.

The EU has made significant progress towards shark conservation since 2006, but there is still
much important “unFINished” business. In fact, more than two years after EU fishery ministers
endorsed a sound Action Plan for sharks, several targeted shark fisheries are continuing
without catch limits, many endangered shark and ray species are woefully under-protected,
and the EU finning ban still has huge loopholes that make it possible to fin sharks without
detection or punishment.
In particular, a derogation in the EU finning regulation that allows permitted EU fishermen
to remove shark fins at sea and land them separately from shark bodies creates serious
challenges for enforcing the finning ban. Based on success in countries around the world and
advice from scientists, enforcement officials and conservationists, the International Union for
Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recommends governments end all at-sea shark fin removal.
Such ‘fins naturally attached’ policies not only maximize the enforceability of finning bans, but
also facilitate the collection of species-specific data on shark catches that are sorely needed
for population assessment and management.
The EU Shark Action Plan also includes commitments to ensure shark and ray fisheries are
sustainable and to better protect endangered species of sharks and rays. Yet, there are still no
limits in place for the main targets of EU shark fisheries (blue and mako sharks), and, in most
European countries, endangered species (such as hammerheads and giant devil rays) lack any
specific, national protections.
Sharks play essential roles as top ocean predators and EU policies affect sharks all over the
Your voice is the key to balancing short-term interests and ensuring that the EU Shark Action
Plan is implemented for the benefit of sharks, marine ecosystems, and the EU public good.
It is especially important that -- after all this time -- the EU shark finning debate culminates in
beneficial, enforceable regulation rather than with the continuation of troubling exceptions for
some of the world’s largest shark fishing fleets.
Please sign our petition urging EU fisheries ministers to protect sharks from overexploitation
and finning now.

Save Europe's Sharks Oct 2011




Save Europe's Sharks Oct 2011

A campaign with real bite

SHARK enthusiasts are being urged to help in the fight to ban shark finning by visiting their local BIAZA zoo or aquarium during European Shark Week.
The campaign which is being held from the 15th to the 23rd of October has been run for the past two years by members of the Shark Alliance in Europe to help raise awareness about shark conservation and secure the future health of shark populations.
The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) is supporting the campaign and urging people across the country to do the same by visiting a BIAZA aquarium and adding their name to the Shark Alliance’s petition.
Dr Miranda Stevenson, Executive Director of BIAZA, said: “European Shark Week is an excellent opportunity not only to have a great day out at your local BIAZA aquarium, but to support a worthy campaign and help fight for the protection of sharks.
“We hope people will add their support by signing the petition and spreading the word via Facebook or Twitter. You can blog about it or put the petition up on your website and if you really want to help, write to your fisheries minister urging them to take action to protect sharks.”
Last year, 34,000 postcards and petition signatures were sent to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and a majority of MEPs then signed a Written Declaration calling for a strengthened EU ban on shark finning requiring all sharks to be landed with their ‘fins naturally attached’.
However, many endangered shark species are still completely unprotected, and there are no limits on the main shark species targeted by EU boats. The campaign’s aim is to add to the number of voices demanding that policy makers secure the future health of shark populations. This year, the Shark Alliance is urging fisheries ministers to deliver proper protection for sharks from finning and overexploitation.
BIAZA members will be hosting a number of fun events throughout the week which visitors can get their teeth stuckBIAZA logo into. Those visiting London Aquarium pay only £5 admission (instead of £14.50) during the week if they dress up as sharks and Galway Atlantaquaria visitors can have fun learning how sharks have evolved over 400 years during interactive workshops. The World Museum Liverpool Aquarium & Bug House is showing award-winning film The Shark Water for free and Dingle Oceanworld is planning a shark-related trail through the aquarium.
To find out what your nearest BIAZA aquarium is doing and help make a difference by showing you care about the future of sharks visit
For more information about the campaign visit


Thursday, 13 October 2011

Letter of the Week!


Dippy on ice (resized)

Following our Presentation to the Island Sailing Club in Cowes on Tuesday evening we received the following lovely words in a card from a member of the audience:


“Dear Mr & Mrs Adams

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Seaview Wildlife presentation at the Island Sailing Club, what a delightful evening it was.

One of the first things that strikes you about the Park is the clean, welcoming atmosphere and the general look of the birds and animals.  This is all brought together by the friendliness and caring of the staff.

It was with trepidation that I made my first visit at the request of my grand-daughter as I loathe zoos and circus, hating anything being caged.  Seaview Wildlife Park won me over within the first 10 minutes – the layout of the Park is a joy and very obviously more than “a job” to the staff.  When they were doing their spiel at feeding times everybody stopped and listened it was so interesting, all delivered with a smile and obvious pleasure rather than a chore.

All this was evident also last night by Jules and Tara’s presentation which I understand was their first.  Well Mr and Mrs Adams the girls “done you proud”.

Thank you very much for sharing your little bit of heaven with the public.

Gwen Hedley, Isle of Wight”

Presentation to the Island Sailing Club!


This week we received an invitation to be guest speakers at an evening event at the Island Sailing Club in Cowes.  Tara and I prepared a PowerPoint presentation about the Park – giving an overview of past and current  projects and some of the animals that make up our very special Collection.

We were welcomed and hosted by Carol Hickmott from the Club’s Committee and her husband David.  I’m pleased to say that the evening went off extremely well.  We don’t often make public presentations outside of the Park so this was an exciting adventure for us!  As it happens there was no need for pre-presentation nerves (even though there were about 100 guests) – because the audience (the Island Sailing Club members) were friendly, attentive and enthusiastic!  There was great participation in the fun quiz that we had at the end of the evening as well as a number of interesting questions about the Park, our animals and wildlife conservation in general.

Thank you to the Island Sailing Club for a most enjoyable evening!

DSC_0343 David and Carol Hickmott - Committee members DSC_0353

View from the Island Sailing Club lounge at Cowes                               Our hosts, Carol and David Hickmott

DSC_0348 DSC_0349

Tara and myself during our presentation

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

New Pig Arc (bedroom) for Miniature Pigs


Alfie and Willis, our two Miniature Pig brothers had a surprise presented to them earlier today … a new pig arc … that’s the official name for their new bedroom!  Their previous one collapsed recently after being pushed around by the boys … so we’re hoping this new, mod-cons version with extra space will be more robust – especially as it’s big enough for them as they enter adulthood (they’re about a year old now and probably full grown!)  With winter just around the corner a snug place to snuggle down together is really important – the Keepers will ensure the arc is stocked with ‘deep litter’ straw bedding throughout the colder months ahead.


DSC_0283 DSC_0285

Hmmm …. Alfie so whaddya reckon about this new snooze pad then?     Ummm …. Willis, let’s take a closer look inside …..

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Yep, it’s looking good, follow me, lets tell the Keepers …….          OK, come on, I’m up for it, this is the best winter pad we’ve had yet!

Jess Aldred – Work Experience Student


Jess Aldred is completing two weeks Work Experience with us at the end of this week.  She has been visiting Seaview Wildlife with her family ever since she was a little girl, so she says that this work experience assignment has been extra special for her.

Jess lives just across the Solent – near Gunwharf Quays and has commuted across on the Fast Cat ferry each day.  She is a student at South Downs College, in Waterlooville, studying towards a Btec Extended Diploma in Animal Management (level 3).  Her future plans include applying for a place at Southampton University to study for a Zoology degree – hopefully starting next year.  We all wish Jess the best of luck and thank her for all her help over the last fortnight!

Jess says she loves all the animals here at the Park – but perhaps the Wallabies and Meerkats just sneak ahead as her favourites!  On that note I’ve included three images of Jess having some close encounters with the Meerkats earlier this afternoon.



Monday, 10 October 2011

Excerpts from our Autumn Newsletter

Hello from all of us here at Seaview Wildlife! Autumn is brandishing her beautiful colours all around us!

Thank you to all our friends who visited the Park during 2011 and for those who haven’t as yet - come on over - we’re open until 30th October!


Dippy (along with all of us here at the Park) is showing his support for the very worthwhile Breast Cancer Campaign this September and October.

Why not join him on “Wear it Pink Day” – 28th October? Just register at or call 0800 107 3104.

Meerkat gazing into Steve's eyes! DSC_1072

Close-up time with our Meerkats, Penguins, Wallabies and other animals has been very popular amongst those guests lucky enough to be treated to one of our VIP guest promotions this summer:

“Keeper for a Day”, “Junior Wildlife Experience” and “Wildest Place for a Special Date” - Will you be treated in 2012?

Hope to see you soon!

JUNIOR WILDLIFE EXPERIENCE – introduced during 2011 due to popular demand!

Emily feeding Meerkats DSC_2154 Ages: 6 – 15 years

Duration: Two hours – 10.15am - 12.15pm or 2.00pm to 4.00pm.

Availability: April – Oct, Mon - Sat (excl. Bank Hols).

A truly wonderful, bespoke, hands-on experience for our younger VIP guests! Guided by a senior member of the Animal Care Team, this is a chance for young animal enthusiasts to get really close to and feed Penguins (including the famous Dippy), Meerkats, Wallabies, Miniature Pigs and Rabbits (other animals can be included depending on individual interests i.e. bugs and reptiles!) Included is a delicious slice of home-baked cake and biscuits with a choice of soft drinks, Slush Puppy or tea/coffee.

Cost: £50 per child (increasing to £60 in 2012) - max 3 children per session (children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult whose admission is free, any additional adults admitted at special voucher rate).

Photos: Images taken & downloaded onto CD at no extra charge as a memento of your special day:

Wildest Place for a Special Date!




BE A KEEPER FOR A DAY – for ages 12 – 100!

The ultimate treat for any animal lover wanting to experience a truly wild close encounter… this is the gift of a lifetime!

Come and work side by side with one of our experienced Keepers feeding and looking after Penguins, Pelicans, Meerkats, Alpacas and Wallabies, plus our Miniature Pigs and furry friends in Pets Corner. Spend time with a whole array of different birds and even get up-close and personal with bugs and reptiles if you dare!

Cost £100 (increasing to £125 in 2012) - includes lunch, a personalised certificate, your own photos on CD and a lifetime of memories!
Bookings - Choose your day from April to October (excluding Bank Holidays), 10.30am - 4.00pm.

Full details on “Junior Wildlife Experience”, “Wildest Place for a Special Date” and “Be a Keeper for a Day” are all available on our website: